Which Needy Am I?

P1760683~ Courtesy of Greg Abel Photography

I’ve been thinking about the rapport we have with Jesus…more specifically the relationship I have with my Redeemer. And I believe fully there is only one kind worth having: Hot. Don’t you think? Revelation 3 comes to mind…

I have to ask myself: Am I hot for Jesus?

Do I love Jesus or am I completely in love with Him?

Am I Head-over-heels, can’t get enough of Him, smitten?

Friend, a part of me thinks we either realize how much we need Him on a daily basis or we rely on Him only when we feel we need Him.

I have to ask myself: Which Needy Am I?

Do I have moments where I need Jesus to intervene, or do I realize I am nothing without Him, downright needy for Him?

Do I merely call upon His Name at my convenience, when I can’t seem to find my own way, or do I ache for Him throughout my everyday, clinging tightly to His promises…chatting with Him like the friend He wants to be. John 15 comes to mind.

It goes against human nature — to be needy. But in this upside down Kingdom of Grace, that’s a good thing.

Friends, Jesus thought we were worth dying for…I think that qualifies for being smitten.

He is head-over-heels in love with us. He just is. He. Is.

And He wants nothing more than to lighten our load, love on us relentlessly, give Himself to us. He has everything we could ever want. He Is everything we’d ever need.

I don’t know about you, but I realize and want to remind myself daily:

My, do I ever need Him. I’m head-over-heels, completely needy for Jesus.

Everyday. All day.

This week, I want to focus on this in my daily walk. You all know how music speaks to my heart in ways words cannot. So I’m committing to starting each morning with this song. For it sets the tone I want to walk into each day with. And I wanted to share it with you.

Friends, I just gotta have Jesus.

Lord, I Need You

Matt Maher, feat. Audrey Assad

Subscribers, CLICK HERE to listen in to this incredible song.

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, you’re my hope and stay
Lyrics provided by KLove HERE.

How about you, friend? Are you needy for Jesus? How do you live that out in your everyday? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

The Cost of Much Forgiveness {Fed Up With Flat Faith}

drift-wood-Courtesy of Greg Abel Photography

“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown Me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Luke 7:47-48

This “sinful woman” had no right…who was she to invade on such a respected home and its elders. Yet nothing could stop her from loving on Him. All else faded into the backdrop. It might as well have been just the two of them.

“She did not care what her actions looked like to others.
Her love for Jesus made that inconsequential.”
~Kathy Howard, Fed Up With Flat Faith

I’ve fallen that hard before. I remember the very moment I fell flat for my now-husband and made the conscious choice to stay smitten. How I could tune out everything in the room but him–when I could calm down the pounding of my own heart that is. I’d often have to remind myself to simply breathe…

Yes, I want that. Again. With Jesus…my First Love.

Friends, I want to be able to drown out this world and focus on the Home I’ll have with Him… I want to recall the nicest thing He’s ever done for me…and hear His voice saying, “Father, forgive her…she didn’t know…”

I want to gasp for air at the very thought of Him.

“We must remember. We must go back to the beginning of our salvation, contemplate our sin, and once again consider Christ’s saving act for us. Then we must not forget.”
~Kathy Howard, Fed Up With Flat Faith

The tearful woman in Luke…the one who drowned her sorrows right on the very feet of her Savior. The one who didn’t let the expectations of this world stop her from pursuing Him. The one who didn’t deserve a response from Him let alone a pardon.

That woman…who gave all, shed all, bore all, confessed all… The one who held no position of authority or decent resumé…I aspire to be her. She got it. And because of it, she got Him.

I’ve been reading this book lately, Fed Up With Flat Faith by Kathy Howard, and I have to tell you, friends, the author–she gets me. Some of you might know my One Word I chose for this year. I haven’t talked about it much, as I couldn’t wrap my mind around how I was going to achieve it yet, but now I see I don’t have to…this book covers it all.

“No substitute will ever permanently  quench our spiritual longing for God. Only an intimate, passionate relationship with our Creator can fully and completely fill us up to overflowing.”
~Kathy Howard, Fed Up With Flat Faith

  • You see, I want to live out a vibrant relationship, not practice religion.
  • Forget less of me and more of Him, I want NONE of me and ALL of Him.
  • I want Him to use me or use me up for His glory.
  • I don’t want to watch what He’s doing, I want to be involved in it.
  • Temporal activities overwhelm, I want to focus on eternal matters.
  • I don’t need more once-in-a-lifetime memories. I want moments that impact eternity.
  • I don’t want to read the Bible, I want to absorb it.

Which are exactly some of the things Kathy talks about on pages 40, 55, 64, 81, 90, 97, and 104.

“Jesus willingly gave His life so we could be forgiven, but we hesitate to give ours to Him. If we have truly received forgiveness of our sin through the blood of Christ, then how can we have any response other than surrender to Him?”
~Kathy Howard, Fed Up With Flat Faith

Friends, when I started reading this book, I desired to be this woman in Luke Kathy talks about a couple chapters in. Now that I finished the book, I realize…I am that woman.

For my sins are many. I don’t deserve a second glance let alone a pardon. And yet…my First Love proved otherwise.

I’m starting to see how my word “Radiate” could look on me, friends. I invite you to stick around and join me on the journey.

And by the way– this book, Fed Up With Flat Faith by Kathy Howard, I recommend.

How about you? Are you fed up with flat faith? How do you remember what He’s done for you? How do you pursue Him? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

NOTE: I jumped on the chance to get this book for free when offered in exchange of a review of some kind. But please know, this post above comes straight from my own heart. No coercion necessary.

Conforming No More

Do you remember that scene in Runaway Bride where Richard Gere exclaims to Julia Roberts “You don’t even know what kind of eggs you like!” ?

It’s a fairly forgettable movie quote, I’ll admit. But not for me — because I can relate. In more ways than one.

You see, I’ve found comfort in knowing I’m a middle child. It’s been a grand excuse for me and my laid back nature. A peacemaker of sorts. Never rocking the boat, only leveling it out. Conforming to ones needs (within reason). And sometimes I’ve convinced myself it is a gift — to be able to see what is lacking and try to fill in the gap. Most days I find satisfaction in succeeding with this. I often find comfort in knowing I can get along with anyone for I am rather non-opinionated.

But in doing so for so many years, one can lose sight of themselves.
And I fear I have lost sight of me.

For this is what God has been showing me as of late.

Those that have been reading since the beginning might remember THIS POST I wrote about The Danger Zone. The fear of being lukewarm. I’ve been thinking about this and praying about it ever since.

Because I think that’s me.
I’ve been lukewarm.
I’ve held back.

And I’m tired of it.

Friends, I have finally taken the plunge into the deep end. I’ve asked God to refine me. To throw me back on the potter’s wheel. To light that fire within me so lukewarm will be but a memory. And He’s been faithfully responding. I have the growing pains to prove it as He has been revealing the areas we are going to work on. From knowing what kind of eggs I like to how I converse with others — these things are getting an overhaul.

{And you know what? I was right. Being lukewarm is a comfort zone. One that can easily suck you dry if you’re not careful. It almost did me.}

Would you mind if I share more of my journey with you this week? It will help make it more real to me and I’m praying it might encourage someone who needs to hear it. Will you join me?

And I would love it if you would share your journey along the way as well! Why, we can start right now.

How about you? What has God been revealing to you as of late that you might need to refine? I’d love to hear.

And I’ll share more of mine tomorrow.

But first–I don’t want to leave you hanging. There was a time not too long ago I wouldn’t have even been able to tell you which eggs I liked. For knowing something that like wasn’t important to me. I’d just have what you were having. But for the record? I like them with cheese. A simple sandwich with melted cheese or a veggie loaded omelet with cheese. Light on the pepper, please. I will never order over-easy again.

Oh you might as well share. How about you, how do you like your eggs? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

This Little Light is Mine to Shine

“Wow, look at that house, Mom! Did you see it?”
“More lights out my side (window)! Look!”

This is the only time of year I enjoy taking the long way home while under the night sky. No hurry. Let’s enjoy the artwork of light. Color. Adornments that celebrate the season of Jesus’ birthday.

And my toddler couldn’t agree more.

Questions and comments were pouring in this night and I was relieved they were mostly directed towards my husband as my mind was caught contemplating his observations.

“Why doesn’t that house have any lights?”
“Why does that house only have lights on the inside?”
“Wow–that house sure is bright!”
“That house has colored lights and that house has white lights!”

A pang of guilt hits me just below the throat as I realize we didn’t go all out on Christmas lights outside our home this year. Our decorations are mostly on the inside. Yet I think the lump in my throat stems from the question within:

Am I keeping my light hidden?
Do I shine for Jesus beyond Christmas?

My mind wanders to the Book of Matthew. Verses I have had memorized since I was a child:

Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world.
A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16
In the same way, let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Accepting Jesus as our Savior puts a spark in our hearts. One that bursts forth in bright flames when tended to. That act of praise brings our Father glory. And what’s even better? It’s contagious. It can spread like wildfire.

And I ask myself,
Have I kindled my fire lately?
Am I shining bright enough to illuminate others?
Do my actions glorify my Heavenly Father?
Am I bright enough?
Is this how I avoid being lukewarm? 

This Christmas Season, I will strive to shine my light bright. I will illuminate Him in my actions and reactions. Will you join me? Together, we can become the most brilliant string of Christmas lights this world has ever seen.

And what a sight that would be. To God be the glory!

How about you? How do you keep your light shining? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki


Romans 13:12 
“The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.
So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

Am linking up with:

Danger Zone


“So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
(Revelations 3:16)

I must admit, I’ve lost sleep over this one lately as questions keep pouring through my cerebral cortex. What does lukewarm mean, anyway? Could I be rejected by my Creator for being too reserved, too comfortable? Do I blend into the background too easily? Is that being lukewarm?

You mean I can be cold OR hot and be accepted?

What’s hot enough? What’s cold?

I need to think about this. Read on it. Dwell on it until I’m comfortable with my conclusion as I’m sure the Holy Spirit is prompting me to do so.

I want my Savior to be proud of me.

I want the light of Christ to shine through me boiling hot or as cold as ice.

Which one is better? Is that enough?

What temperature am I supposed to be?

Okay. Deep breath. Let’s think about this analogy John uses. Water. More specifically, lukewarm water.

Not much happens in lukewarm water. No surprises. Pretty predictable. You can drink it and wash with it if you had to. It can be useful, but forgettable. It’s usually not preferred. Stagnant comes to mind. If water had a comfort level, I’m assuming lukewarm would be its comfort zone.

Then there’s hot or cold. Melting or freezing. Steaming or chilling. There’s no mistaking its temperature and the uses for each are endless. Both can be dangerous if not handled properly. Both can be quite uncomfortable.

And then there’s me. Just me. One simple drop in the sea of humanity.

Me. Trying to reflect Christ in all I do. Trying to make a difference for His kingdom. Trying to live in this world but not of it. Trying to get to the end of this race and hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

I had better be freezing cold or boiling hot if I want to impact those around me for God’s glory. This sea we’re living in is vast. The water’s deep. And I’m but a single drop. I need to be one or the other to make any difference whatsoever.

I don’t want to become mouthwash.

If lukewarm is a comfort zone, I want to be uncomfortable. Comfort zones are overrated, anyway. We can become lazy in them if not careful. So I say comfort schmomfort. Let’s bring it! Let’s live in the danger zone. For in doing that, we’ll realize it’s not so dangerous after all.

Let’s hold nothing back, for here and now is the only chance we’re guaranteed to have. Let’s live for Him like we mean it. Will you join me?

How about you? What do you think lukewarm is and how can we avoid it? I’d love to hear and possibly talk about how to apply this more in another post.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

This post is linked up to Thought-Provoking Thursday